Many people are curious as to what to put into ring planners, what sections to have, and what inserts to use. Other people who have spiral planners are curious on how to organize all of their tasks and prioritize their schedule. Time is scarce and both types of planners can optimally maximize your time and allow you to organize your priorities.
1. Create a system. Decide if you want your planner for all activities (work, school, and personal life) or if you want a planner for each category. This is a personal preference and simply depends on how many tasks you need to prioritize.
Once you decide on a system, determine what tasks are in your routines. Try to develop a list for each category, such as:
Personal Life: family activities, appointments, meals, birthdays, etc
Work Life: deadlines, meetings, trainings, schedules, holidays
School Life: tests, projects, breaks, homework assignments, class schedules
2. Develop a code. Say you are using a planner for school and need to separate by classes. It is much easier to have a color coding system that gives each class a unique color instead of writing the course’s name each time. With a quick glance at your calendar, you can easily distinguish which class has work due the next day. If you’re not too big on colors, try stickers or doodles. On your monthly overview, draw a tiny pencil to signify you have a test on that day, for example. Remember, this can be applied to areas outside of school. Say you have a big project at work, use a star sticker to remind yourself of its importance and place it on its due date and maybe another star sticker a week before it is due so that you know you have an upcoming deadline.
3. Prioritize by importance and due dates. When listing activities, put the most important tasks at the top, which should also be the activities due the soonest. If you only have a few seconds to look at your planner, you want to make sure you are aware of what really needs to be done.
4. Mark off things as they are completed. Crossing off tasks that you have accomplished is satisfying and gives peace of mind. You’ll feel better knowing it is done and does not need to be worried about anymore.
5. Personalize it! Do not be shy! Decorate it with cute post-it notes, stickers, washi tape and the like! It will be a pretty accessory for your desk that will motivate you to actually want to complete those tasks!